Exposé Online banner

Syzygy — Cosmos & Chaos - 20th Anniversary Edition
((Not on label) 8 27770-11233 3, 1994/2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-02-14

Cosmos & Chaos - 20th Anniversary Edition Cover artTwenty years ago the band was a trio called Witsend, and they released their debut CD Cosmos & Chaos on a private east-coast label that did little to promote it, and as a result it sank like a stone, almost unnoticed. But that didn’t slow down these Cleveland, Ohio based musicians from going forward. Nine years later they re-emerged, now with a new band name – Syzygy, and a new album The Allegory of Light. Now after several more releases, and the addition of a full-time bassist, the band felt it was time to go back and revisit their debut, re-record some of the parts they were initially unhappy with, re-sequence the cuts into what they felt was a more sensible order, and add 27 minutes of bonus material, including two cuts by the very earliest version of the band (then a quartet) in 1984, everything remastered nicely. In its original incarnation, Cosmos & Chaos featured six longer progressive rock cuts featuring the entire trio, one with vocals by guitarist Carl Baldesarre, and six shorter solo pieces or duets for guitar, piano and bass that connected the band cuts like instrumental interludes. For this 20th anniversary edition, all of the shorter solos and duets are front-loaded together at the beginning of the album, starting things of with a more introspective feel, building in intensity. Then all the full band pieces follow, beginning with the instrumental epic “Voyager,” a slab of classic prog rock in every sense; this was the cut that kicked off the original album, a powerful opener then, and it still holds up well later in the program as the intensity continues to build. The vocal track “Circadian Rhythm” follows, just like it did in the number 2 spot on the original album. “Closure” is another powerful prog instrumental, followed by the more overtly rocking “Strange Loop II.” The bonus material starts at track 13 with two studio cuts by the early band (both excellent instrumentals), and then two live cuts recorded in 2010, including vocal versions of “Strange Loop II” and “Mount Ethereal” featuring singer Mark Boals. This was a good album back when it was first released, and even better now due to the resequencing, touch-ups, and remastering.

Filed under: Reissues, 2014 releases, 1994 recordings

Related artist(s): Syzygy (Witsend)

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Flower Travellin' Band - Satori – Psychedelic bands in Europe and North America often incorporated aspects of Middle-Eastern or Indian music into their own styles. So what happens when a band from Japan does the same thing? On the one...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues